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Is OpenApoc dead?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Istrebitel, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    I wanted to make this post because I think there's some stuff to clarify here. That is because some people often take a lack of updates or activity as sign of project being "dead" or "abandoned".

    So here's how this really works.

    OpenApoc is an open source project. This means anyone can contribute. More than that, anyone can take over the project, or even make his own and take it in its own direction. For example, look at OpenMW, which is a rework of Morrowind engine, which one dude took and made a multiplayer Morrowind out of! So any person with skill could take OpenApoc, and say, make a multiplayer game based on it, or make a 2 person strategy game where people fight for control of the city, or whatever.

    But in case of OpenApoc that's unlikely, and most people are interested in when the OpenApoc itself will "come out" or "be ready", meaning, when will you be able to play X-Com Apocalypse using this new engine, and whether this will happen any time soon.

    So, truth is, OpenApoc doesn't have right now and never had a big enough team to finish it in reasonable amount of time.


    Things rarely happen this way in open source. Rarely projects start already with a team of people who go from start to finish. Often it happens like it happened with OpenApoc: one random person (PMProg) just started the project hoping that people will join and contribute eventually. And they did! And look, we have quite a lot of the game finished! This all happens in a decentralized manner. People come and go. Now, eventually projects like this either die or acquire a big enough team to finish them in timely manner. This is what happened with OpenXCom, when enough people joined SupSuper, the project got done. Or, as it happens with other projects, everyone loses interest and unless someone resurrects them they stay dead.

    So what's the status of OpenApoc?

    Right now we have several people who are actively contributing to the project. You mostly see my updates about battlescape features, but people are also working behind the scenes to update less obvious stuff and help in other ways. People are figuring out how vanilla features work, people are making fonts to support languages other than english, etc. This is not really enough to finish this project any time soon. But we're making progress. We're hoping that more people become interested eventually and we can then finish this project quite quickly. But unless we do, every one of us just does what he can. Everything will eventually be useful - like, skin36 is doing reverse engineering and figured out stuff like music and tube transport - eventually when someone will be implementing that his work will be useful.

    Our bottleneck right now is people with programming skills who would be willing to simply code stuff. A lot of the game is already understood and just needs to be coded in. A lot of not yet understood game can be easilly implemented in a way that closely resembles vanilla to the point where noone would notice any difference. Only a small part of the game cannot yet be implemented and needs to be studied first. I am the only one who is actively coding right now. I cannot do this on a steady basis as I have other life matters to attend to. When I have spare time I do a lot, but then I might have to disappear for a couple of months.

    More people are getting interested and figuring out the project, and some people are coming back. Eventually either we finish this in coming-and-going fashion, which will take I think over a year, or a big enough team assembles to finish the game in couple of months. All you can do is keep interest in the project, keep talking about it, so that people that would be interested in contributing come and contribute.

    That's what happened with me - I randomly stumbled upon some news on OpenXcom website, and decided "why not contribute to this" and now we have whole battlescape implemented (which before me didn't even exist as a stub). The more people talk about project to their peers, the faster people like me, who want to contribute find out about us and come and contribute, and the sooner will OpenApoc be released.

    So that's it. OpenApoc is not dead, it just doesn't have a critical mass (yet) to be finished in a month. Work is being done. Ask around, tell your friends, post on blogs, talk about us on your channels, and ask people who might be interested to come and check it out. Eventually a big enough team will come together and we'll finish this quickly. Until then, people will be coming and going and contributing what they can.
     
  2. JonnyH

    JonnyH Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Certainly the work I can do to openapoc is extremely bursty - I can get quite a bit of time one week, then no time at all for months.

    Right now I'm in one of those periods where I can't get time. That doesn't mean I've given up, or won't get time in the future!
     
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  3. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Just give the people the alpha release man :p
     
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